Skip to main content

Alumni News


Dr. Sarah Vitale

Dr. Sarah Vitale
is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She teaches classes on critical theory, existentialism, and social institutions. Her research focuses on Marx and post-Marxism, especially on the notions of production, labor, and human nature, as well as contemporary feminist theory. She is Co-Editor of the Radical Philosophy Review, the journal of the Radical Philosophy Association, as well as co-editor of The Weariness of Democracy (Palgrave Macmillan 2019), and her recent publications include and “Men Who Love Bukowski: Hegemonic Masculinity, Online Dating, and the Aversion Toward the Feminine” (Peitho 22:1) and “Community-Engaged Learning and Precollege Philosophy During Neoliberalism” (Teaching Philosophy 42:4). She is also the founder and director of the Ball State Philosophy Outreach Project, a pre-college philosophy program.


Dr. Christopher Noble

Christopher graduated in 2016 and is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at New College of Florida, where he primarily teaches courses in the history of philosophy. His research focuses on Leibniz’s philosophy of nature as well as questions of historical methodology, and he is currently completing a book manuscript on the philosophical conception of the soul as an “automaton" in Modern European philosophy. 

Recent publications include “Immaterial Mechanism in the Mature Leibniz” (Idealistic Studies 2019) and “Leibniz on the Divine Preformation of Souls and Bodies.” (HOPOS Journal 2019)."



Dr. Laura McMahon

Dr. Laura McMahon is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and a Department Member in Women's & Gender Studies at Eastern Michigan University, where she teaches courses in 19th- and 20th-Continental Philosophy, Phenomenology, Existentialism, Social & Political Philosophy, and Feminist Theory.  Her research focuses on the phenomenology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and its resources for understanding therapeutic and political transformation.  Recent publications include "'The Separation That is not a Separation but a Form of Union': Merleau-Ponty and Feminist Object Relations Theory in Dialogue" (forthcoming in Human Studies), "Freedom as (Self-)Expression: Natality and the Temporality of Action in Merleau-Ponty and Arendt" (The Southern Journal of Philosophy), and "(Un)Healthy Systems: Merleau-Ponty, Dewey, and the Dynamic Relationship Between Self and Environment" (Journal of Speculative Philosophy).  Laura McMahon was recently elected President of the Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy (CSCP).  She discusses her work on freedom, vulnerability, and political transformation in a recent post in the Women in Philosophy Series of the American Philosophical Association blog.



Dr. Lucio Privitello

Lucio Angelo Privitello, graduated from Villanova University Ph.D., (2003), and is Professor of Philosophy, Endowed Professor of Ancient Greek Philosophy from the Pappas Center for Hellenic Studies, and Chair of the Philosophy and Religion Program at Stockton University, where he has been since 2005. As faculty member, and then Chair, Privitello has expanded the B.A. in Philosophy, with two separate B.A. degree/concentrations: one for Legal Studies and Philosophy, and one that includes a foreign language competency requirement for Graduate Studies in Philosophy. He has served as Coordinator of the South Jersey Classical Humanities Society, and faculty sponsor for Phi Sigma Tau, but it is in teaching and scholarship where true joys resides. Apart from his core program courses, Privitello has enjoyed cooking up Philosophy and General Studies courses to entice and enhance student interest and enrollment. A few examples are, “Renaissance Philosophy in Italy,” “In Search of a God Language,” “Mysticism and Philosophy,” “Soul for Sale: Faust,” “Nietzsche: Forgetting and Remembering Philosophy,” “The Ways of Love,” “Horror: Reason, Madness, Faith,” “Myth, Death and Philosophy,” and “Philosophies of Art.” Directly inspired from his Villanova 2003 Dissertation are the courses “Humor’s Logic and Laughter’s Wisdom,” and “In the Animal’s Image.” His Senior Seminar Capstone courses have included “Parmenides” and “Fate, Fortune, Chance, and Necessity”. For fall 2020, he has shared the planning of a team-taught course, “Music and Philosophy,” with a faculty member from the Music Program. Thanks to the generous endowment from the Pappas Center of Hellenic Studies, international conferences, research, as well as national conferences and travel, are splendidly supported, which has allowed venues from Athens, Alcalà, London, Milano, Warsaw, and Sicily, as well as national venues. Conference presentations have been on and about themes and figures within Ancient Greek philosophy, American philosophy (Wright, Royce, and Santayana), the philosophy of culture, Nietzsche, Adorno, Lacan, Derrida, Cassirer, Proust, the Sicily of Il Gattopardo, pedagogy, horror theory, and humor theory.  Examples of his publications are:

•“The Devil Wares Damask: Twilled Teaching as Apprenticeships
in Creativity,” Eidos: A Journal for Philosophy of Culture, Volume
3: No.4 (10) /2019
•Review of Nicola Stefano Galgano, I Precetti della Dea: Non Essere
e Contraddizione in Parmenide di Elea
, in Archai: Journal on the
Study of the Origins of Western Thought
(Brazil & Portugal).
(January 2019)
• “Umberto Eco’s Adventurous Orders,” Journal of Italian Philosophy,
spring 2018.  
• “Who’s, What’s, I Don’t Know: A Musement on Eco’s Pragmatism,”
The European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy (EJPAP),
Special Issue, 2018, “Eco and Pragmatism” https://journals.openedition.
• “Approaching the Parmenidean Sublime,” Epoché: A Journal for the
History of
Philosophy, Volume 23, Number 1, fall 2018, https://
• “I have wandered in a face …,” Chapter 20, in The Philosophy
of Umberto E
co, Eds. Sara C. Beardsworth and Randall E. Auxier,
vol. XXXV, Library of Living Philosophers (Chicago: Open Court
Publishing, 2017)
• “Josiah Royce on Nietzsche’s Couch,” in The Transactions of the
Charles S. Peirce Society
, “Royce Centennial Issue,” Vol. 52. No. 2
(spring 2016)
• “S/laughter and Anima-lēthē,” in Reading Bataille, Now, Ed.
Shannon Winnubst. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006),
• “The Incompossible Language of Natural Aristocracy: Deleuze’s
misreading of Visconti’s The Leopard,” Senses of Cinema, October 18, 2005



Dr. Andea Hurst

Andrea Hurst holds the National Research Foundation Research Chair. It is the South African Research Chairs Initiative Chair in Identities and Social Cohesion in Africa.

In addition, Andrea is fusing philosophical inquiry with practice-based knowing in the various arts, the aim is to investigate whether and how intellectual experimentation and aesthetic practices may work to undo bounded, adversarial identities, re-imagine emancipatory social spaces and dynamics, and promote the kind of dialogue and healing that restores dignity.

The relevance of such collaboration between philosophy and the arts is at once pedagogical and ethical. Making a paradigmatic shift beyond both self-confident conceptual models and self-assertive anti-conceptual strategies, such aesthetic exploration calls upon researchers to modify ingrained habits of thought, develop intellectual confidence, and draw on art’s unique power to engage people emotionally in questioning, raising doubts, creating dialogue, and opening educational spaces in which to imagine novel solutions to social issues. The ethical hope is that reflective spaces of dialogical interaction between diverse voices, will create better ways to see and be in the world.


Dr. Shannon Mussett

Shannon Mussett is Professor of Philosophy at Utah Valley University. She specializes in French Existentialism, German Idealism, Feminist Theory, and Aesthetics. She publishes widely on Simone de Beauvoir, French Existentialism, and Hegelian philosophy. She is co-editor of Beauvoir and the History of Philosophy from Plato to Butler (SUNY Press, 2012) and The Contradictions of Freedom: Philosophical Essays on Simone de Beauvoir's Les Mandarins (SUNY Press, 2006) and is currently completing her manuscript on Entropic Philosophy. Shannon is the incoming Executive Co-Director of SPEP beginning fall 2020.

Jamie K.A. Smith

Dr. Jamie K. A. Smith

James K.A. Smith arrived at Villanova University in 1995 for the doctoral program in philosophy. Working under the guidance of John Caputo, he graduated with his PhD in 1999 and moved to his first tenure-track job at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. In 2002 he moved to Calvin University in Grand Rapids, MI where he now is professor of philosophy and holds an endowed chair. In the first half of his career he specialized in phenomenology, including a translation of Catholic philosopher Jean-Luc Marion’s book on art, The Crossing of the Visible. But over the past 10 years Smith’s work has focused on “translating” philosophical concepts for broader audiences, including award-winning books such as How (Not) To Be Secular and You Are What You Love (which has sold over 100,000 copies). His public commentary has also appeared in periodicals such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.

Smith’s most recent book, On the Road with Saint Augustine: A Real-world Spirituality for Restless Hearts, is deeply indebted to his time at Villanova. “One of the great gifts I received from the Augustinian community at Villanova,” Smith attests, “was an appreciation for what I call ‘the whole Augustine.’ Philosophers have a tendency to ‘anthologize’ Augustine—to pick and choose from his published corpus. But at Villanova I learned that one couldn’t possibly understand Augustine without reading his letters and sermons. That insight is a big part of this new book.”

and here is his new book

as well as the Publisher’s Weekly review  

Ted George

Dr. Theodore George

Theodore George is the author of The Responsibility to Understand: Hermeneutical Contours of Ethical Life (Edinburgh University Press, accepted and in press, anticipated publication June 2020), Tragedies of Spirit: Tracing Finitude in Hegel’s Phenomenology (State University of New York Press, 2006), and numerous articles and book chapters. He is also co-ed. with Charles Bambach, Philosophers and their Poets: Reflections on the Poetic Turn in Philosophy Since Kant (State University of New York Press, 2019) and translator of Günter Figal, Objectivity: The Hermeneutical and Philosophy (State University of New York Press, 2010). His current projects include co-ed. with Gert-Jan van der Heiden, The Gadamerian Mind (Routledge).

George is Editor of Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy, as well as category editor, PhilPapers, “Hermeneutics,” / leaf editor “Hans-Georg Gadamer,” and he holds an appointment as Senior Researcher, College of Fellows, Western Sydney University. His research has been supported by the Fulbright Commission, the Goethe Institute, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) at the University of Freiburg, Germany, as well as by the Rothrock Fellows Program and the Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M University. He is a recipient of the Texas A&M Association of Former Students College of Liberal Arts Teaching Award.

George is currently in his second term as Head of the Department of Philosophy. His service includes Academic Program Review work in conjunction with Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board mandate, as well as peer-review work for granting agencies such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Commission, for numerous presses and journals, and he serves on advisory boards for journals and professional organizations in his areas of expertise. He is a former Director of the Collegium Phaenomenologicum and former President of the North American Society for Philosophical Hermeneutics.


Joshua Nunziato

Dr. Joshua Nunziato

Joshua finished his PhD in philosophy at Villanova in 2016. His research was on recovering ancient wisdom for contemporary business culture. His first book, The Work of Parting: Augustine's Sacrificial Economy, is currently under peer-review at a major university press. In 2017, he founded Centripetal, a coaching and leadership development firm that helps entrepreneurs foster deep inner lives for more fruitful company cultures. Joshua is currently working on a second book called Culture Within: Entrepreneurship as Spiritual Formation. He and his family live in Denver, CO.

Darin Gates

Dr. Darin Gates

Dr. Gates specializes in moral philosophy and ethics. He teaches philosophy as well as business ethics and software engineering ethics at Brigham Young University. He is also a Fellow with the Wheatley Institution, as part of their ethics initiative. His current work focuses on the relation between unethical behavior and self-deception/rationalization, as well on issues in computer related ethics. His recent publications include “Teaching Business Ethics: Current Practices and Future Directions” in The Routledge Companion to Business Ethics, as well as “Ethics as an Aesthetic for Artificial General Intelligence,” published in the Proceedings of the International Conference on Computational Creativity, co-authored with Dan Ventura.

Dana Belu

Dr. Dana Belu

recently published her new book titled, Heidegger, Reproductive Technology & The Motherless Age. (Palgrave Macmillan, April 2017).

and “The Question Concerning a Vital Technology: Heidegger’s Influence on Andrew Feenberg’s Critical Theory” in Theory & Praxis: Andrew Feenberg & Critical Theory, eds. D. Arnold & A. Michel. (Palgrave Macmillan, November, 2017).

In addition to, “On the Harnessing of Birth in The Technical Age” in Spaces for the Future: A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology, eds. J. Pitt & A. Shew. Routledge Press. (Routledge Press, August 2017).

and Dr. Belu has a new book on the horizon as well, "Human Resources in the Age of Reproductive Technology" in Renewable Technologies (ed. Roisin Lally) in the The Post-phenomenology and Philosophy of Technology Series. (Lexington Books. Forthcoming in 2019).

Terry Maksymowych

Dr. Terry Maksymowych

Springer is publishing Global Education in Bioethics, a book in their Advancing Global Bioethics series. The book is composed of three parts. The first addresses the theoretical background of globalization and its implications for ethics education. The second part examines the goals of global ethics education, as well as the challenges that are presented in various cultural, social and political contexts and economic inequalities. The third part presents and analyzes various examples, methods, and practices of global ethics education.

Terry's chapter, “To See Differently: Incorporating the Arts Into Bioethics Education,” argues that the arts have the power to startle, to challenge beliefs, to invite people to see the world through others’ eyes. In our culture, the arts are often relegated to the province of entertainment, but they can be powerful teaching tools, particularly in a field of study in which empathy is highly valued. Every culture has stories, art, music and dance, and these can be used to speak to students in introductory or advanced bioethics courses. The chapter focuses on the methodology of incorporating the arts into bioethics classrooms, using examples from various cultural traditions.

Christopher Davidson

Dr. Christopher Davidson

Since receiving his PhD from Villanova, Chris has published on the role of affects (i.e., motivating emotions) in ethics, politics, and aesthetics. His research centers on Foucault and on Spinoza.
His most recent publication, on how art practices can unify social groups, is in Textual Practice (Vol. 34) and extends his development of an aesthetics within Spinoza’s thought.
Another recent piece, an invited response to Étienne Balibar in the Australasian Philosophical Review, shows how the hypnotic effect of charismatic leaders (including tyrants) harnesses affects of love and fear simultaneously to limit the power of their subjects.

He also co-edited New Philosophies of Sex and Love: Thinking Through Desire (Rowman & Littlefield International) and published an essay (Journal of Early Modern Studies, Vol. 4, Issue 2) on how desire, hope, and fear enable (and indeed are required by) philosophical method in Spinoza and Descartes.

Recently, he has given multiple presentations on practices of the self in Foucault, Kant, Locke, and Wollstonecraft;
presented papers which use Foucault to analyze the filmmaker Haneke (as well as other topics in aesthetics);
presented research on pedagogy and the punishment of children;
led a workshop on the concrete practices which made civil rights protests effective;
and has presented a Spinozistic account of the destruction of states through civil war and other internal causes. Chris has been lucky to present some of these topics internationally, in Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, and Belgium.

Chris currently is an Assistant Teaching Professor at Ball State University.
Recently, he has enhanced diversity and experiential components of his classes in his continuing attempts to make his classes relevant and interesting to a variety of students.



Dr. John Garner

Dr. John V. Garner graduated from Villanova in 2014 and is currently an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of West Georgia, near Atlanta. In 2017 he published a book on Plato's conception of the good life, The Emerging Good in Plato's Philebus (Northwestern University Press). The book argues, most centrally, that the "pleasures of learning" exemplify for Socrates the possibility of intrinsically good becoming or change. Other recent publications have focused on the reception of Plato's arithmetic in figures as distinct as Proclus and Gadamer. In 2017 he also co-founded the Georgia Ancient Philosophy Seminar and gave talks for "The Other Night School," both of which are regional forums promoting public inquiry. In 2018 he will be translating French philosophy, improving in German for future projects, and teaching a capstone course on political violence. A recent APA spotlight summarizes some of his broader interests.


Alexi Kukuljevic

Dr. Alexi Kukuljevic

Dr. Alexi Kukuljevic graduated from Villanova University with his Ph.D. in 2009 and he now resides in Vienna.  He is an artist and Lecturer in Art Theory at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.  His book titled, Liquidation World: On the Art of Living Absently is scheduled to be released in September of 2017.  The information regarding his book is here

Michael Andrews

Dr. Michael Andrews

Dr. Michael Andrews was a Villanova University Ph.D. graduate in 2002, on July 1st, 2017 Andrews has accepted a position as the Director of the John Felice Rome Center, a campus of Loyola University Chicago located in Rome, Italy.  As Director of Loyola's Rome Center, Dr. Andrews will be responsible for overseeing the academic curricular, residential, financial and student life aspects of the program.  He will lead one of the oldest and most successful study abroad academic programs in Western Europe.  Previously, he was the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Portland. You can read more here
Kudos to Dr. Andrews on his accomplishment!  

Ryan Feigenbaum

Dr. Ryan Feigenbaum

Ryan Feigenbaum is an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at The New York Botanical Garden’s Humanities Institute, Ryan Feigenbaum created and developed the digital exhibition, “Poetic-Botany: Art and Science of the Eighteenth-Century Vegetable World.” Poetic Botany identifies an eighteenth-century movement in which botany became the subject of poetry. Erasmus Darwin (grandfather to Charles) inaugurated this movement with the publication of The Botanic Garden (1791), a scientific poem that personifies Linnaean botany. The digital exhibition brings together this historical text as well as a wide range of other resources in the form of illustrations, photographs, videos, texts, and more to provide an experience not possible in a traditional museum setting. Visitors can view not only a variety of materials that no single collection could ever hope to contain, but can also peruse these materials at their leisure, at any time or place. Organized around nine different plant species, the exhibition shows that plants, like humans, are agents of historical change.

Visit the exhibition here:

Read an interview about the exhibition’s creation.

Morey Williams

Dr. Morey Williams

Morey Williams has a blog entitled, “Immigration Detention and the Threat of ‘The American dream,’” Williams highlights the key role that immigration detention plays within the prison military industrial complex as it surfaces in the United States of America. Williams then gestures toward a phenomenological response to the practice of immigration detention, employing the voices of Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Lisa Guenther, Orlando Patterson, and the first-hand accounts of detained persons themselves.

You can read the full article here blog

Ian Maley

Dr. Ian Maley

Ian Maley graduated Villanova University with his PhD in March of 2017.  In addition, he also produced a poetry reading for legendary Farimont Native poet Marty Watt on Sunday, March 19th, 2017 at PhilaMOCA, Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art in Center City Philadelphia,
The Philly Inquirer kindly featured a story regarding the poety reading by Marty Watt that Dr. Ian Maley organized with friends at PhilaMOCA.  Here is the full article!
Ian teaches one of Watt's recent poems, entitled “I Came In Spacewise to the Moment,” in the course titled, "Knowledge, Reality, Self" PHI-1000 class during the Descartes unit.  Part of Descartes’ project is to give a rational account himself and Ian uses Watt’s poems to help think about what a rational account of oneself is and what historically philosophers have considered irrational accounts or thoughts of oneself.  Watt’s poem describes his birth as an event in the universe.  Ian uses the poem to help students understand how to think about texts in philosophical ways, understand the limits of Western philosophy and expose them to ideas and works of art that they would not otherwise encounter.  

John Patrick-Schultz

Dr. John-Patrick Schultz

Dr. John-Patrick Schultz graduated Villanova University in 2014 and was an adjunct in the Ethics department at Viillanova University as well.  Dr. Schultz began a full time position at Pierce College in February 2017.  His dissertation focused on revolutionary temporality with reference to Marx, Bloch, and Benjamin. He specializes in social and political philosophy, critical theory, and 19th and 20th century German philosophy. He has published several articles and received several awards, including the Harvey Teaching Award and the Assistantship for Interdisciplinary Study in Philosophy and Theology.  He is noted in the American Philosophical Association blog here.


Dr. John Whitmire

Dr. John Whitmire graduated Villanova University in 2005 and is now Associate Professor and Department Head in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Western Carolina University. In April 2016, he won WCU’s College of Arts and Sciences Teaching Award. In keeping with WCU’s tradition, he was given the award as a surprise during one of his classes. Congratulations, John! In addition, in December 2017 John completed a five year term as department chair.  In addition, on May 11th, 2019, the "Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching" award will be presented to Dr. Whitmire.   


Dr. Adriel M. Trott

Dr Adriel M. Trott is Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy and Chair of Gender Studies at Wabash College. She graduated from Villanova University in 2008. She published two books, Aristotle on the Matter of Form: A Feminist Metaphysics of Generation (Edinburgh University Press, 2019) and Aristotle on the Nature of Community (Cambridge University Press, 2014). She currently serves on the APA Committee on Lectures, Publications, and Research. She is the Series Editor of the Women in Philosophy series at the APA Blog and she blogs at The Trott Line.


Philosophy Doctoral Program


Villanova University, SAC 108
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610.519.8997
Fax: 610.519.4639

Director:  Julie Klein
Coordinator:  Terry DiMartino